Sunday, August 16, 2015 Inc., has released the list of the “World’s Biggest Public Companies” it is the annual list of world’s largest public companies. We decided to get the list of In-house and BPO Companies that have a regional office in the Philippines that made it to the list. We believe that the list would be a useful representation of top BPO Companies in the world since Forbes is one of the most trusted source for businesses and investment leaders.

The list is an annual ranking of top 2000 public companies in the world which is based on four metrics: sales, profit, assets and market value.

The list below contains BPO and in house companies with Philippine branches or subsidiaries.

With a Global Services Center in Taguig and Cebu the parent company of JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.-Philippine Global Service Center has emerged on the top based on Forbes’ list.

The top positions have been dominated by in-house companies with businesses ranging from banks, oil companies, and Telco’s.  In terms of the number of companies per country, the list mostly contains companies from the United States followed by outsourcing firms from India.

Based on experience, in house companies could provide a better working environment and above the industry standard salary packages other perks may include profit sharing, stock options and retirement benefit plan.  Issues like unapproved VL’s, mandatory OT or holding of lunch and break schedules may be minimal.

The figures showed above may not be derived purely of BPO earnings however; the list is a clear indicator how large a company is because, the list is not measured purely on earnings.

Is your company listed above?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Are BPO companies prepared if the “Big One” strikes? We have been wondering if the industry has prepared a standard protocol to follow in times of natural disasters.

To understand the participation rate of BPO companies, we decided to monitor social media during Metro-Wide “Shake Drill”. It was alarming to see that there were only few BPO companies that joined the vital event given the fact that it was done in daytime where it is considered as off- peak hours for most accounts.

We understand that some companies are challenged in terms of BCP (Business Continuity Planning) preparation. In a survey by CCAP (Call Center Association of the Philippines) BCP implementation was one of the concerns. Would the survey mean that some BPO companies would rather risk the lives of their employees than losing their profit?

Being ranked as the 3rd most disaster prone country in the world, it would be a no brainer if a company doesn’t have an established preparedness plan. See how Chevron an In-house shared service company executes BCP to ensure the safety of its employees.

1. Depending on the alert level, the crisis management team decides if late start of work or early dismissal is needed.

2. The location of fault lines and flood prone areas were identified and if needed BCP site will be used to continue normal operations.

3. On every disaster, all employees will be accounted for trough different modes of communication, a grab and go emergency wallet and bag will be provided as well.

Having a business continuity plan in place  ensures that people and processes have a plan and know the plan, this will ensure minimal impact to the business in case of disasters.

Here's some of the BPO companies that joined the Metro Wide "shake drill". Photos were gathered from Facebook.

1. Brady Philippines - in 3 minutes and 20 seconds the floor was evacuated.

2. Cognizant - employees evacuated to an open field.

3. [24]7 - Leaders demo was done during the drill.

Kudos to those companies that ensures the safety of its employees. What was your experience during shake drill? Let us know via the comments section. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A jobless fresh graduate of a 5 year course got disappointed with his Alma Mater for being referred in a call center.

It appears that the Facebook user laments that his University wants its graduates to become call center agents.

Check out his Facebook Post Below;

Early this morning I received a text message from a CALL CENTER COMPANY and offer me a job as data analyst, sadly they got my contact details from my own and beloved ALMA MATER.
Yes I am jobless right now but I am a 5 YEAR DEGREE HOLDER and this job referral is a mock to my face and to my profession!!(no offense to all my relatives and friends who are in the call center industry).
I am just very disappointed to my ALMA MATER by doing this!
How shameless are you by doing this to me and to all the alumni of our beloved University. Is this the dream that you offer to us when we first enter the door of our University? You want us to become CALL CENTER AGENTS? (again no offense)
It is tempting to all jobless graduates to grab this kind of opportunity but if you think that this referral help your graduates it’s a big NO! NO! Its better you didn’t do this!
This only show that our University dind’t care about the future of their Graduates but we are only good in PULICITY
#EducationNotForSale #StopCommercialism #SortFirstBeforeReferal #RIPtoallJoblessGraduates

As a call center employee, reading his post did not offend me at all, simply because the kid doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

I was upset because there are a lot of young “smart” people out there who would prefer to be jobless and rely on their parents than work in a call center. Sometimes, a high school graduate or a college undergraduate working in the BPO industry is way better than a college graduate who thinks that working in the BPO industry is a dead end job.

Below are the reactions from other netizens.

Credits to Jiro's FB account for the photos.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

In the recently concluded 9th ICT Awards 2015 held at Marriot Hotel Manila, Cognizant Technology Solutions Philippines, Inc was named as the Best Company of the Year.

Aside from local awards, Cognizant is also recognized on a global scale.  The company has numerous achievements in its sleeves it is included in Fortune’s list of top 500 Companies and World’s Most Admired Companies. 
Photo Credits to ICT

This year Accenture, Inc was hailed as the Best Employer of the Year Hall of Fame.

Accenture has been the consistent top earner in the BPO Industry in terms of revenues generated.

The International ICT Awards Philippines is held annually, it is organized by Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) and Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CanCham).  The goal of the award is to recognize and promote the achievements of organizations and individuals that are based in the Philippines. 

Check out the list of winners below;

Best Company of the Year
Cognizant Technology Solutions Philippines, Inc.

Best Employer of the Year
Lexmark Cebu

Best Filipino-owned Company of the Year
Pointwest Technologies Corporation

Best Company of the Year Outside NCR
Lexmark Cebu

Best Global In-house Center of the Year
ANZ Global Services and Operations (Manila), Inc.

Most Innovative Company of the Year
Lexmark Cebu

Best Voice Excellence Company of the Year
The Results Companies

Best Emerging IT-BPM Company for Creatives

Best Emerging IT-BPM Company for Healthcare
Cognizant Technology Solutions Philippines, Inc.

Best Philippine Mobile App of the Year
Arko by Pointwest Technologies Corporation

Best ICT CEO of the Year
Maulik Parekh, SPi Global

Individual Contributor of the Year
Fred Ayala

Hall of Fame – “Best Company of the Year”

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Thinking of a work from home setup? Working from home means having more time with the family, but you have to consider your kids, background noises (dogs, tricycle, videoke) and a good home office setup. One of the most important thing to invest in is your internet connection. Let me share my experience on PLDT uLTEra, after 25 months of usage of theSmart Bro Canopy plan 999 or PLDT Home Bro I can say that I’m quite satisfied with the service since I get a constant speed of almost 2Mbps download plus upload and a friend is also using the same connection for his work from home office.  As part of their retention service PLDT offered a free upgrade to PLDT Home Bro Ultera. So what do I got after the upgrade?

1.       Free installation and activation fee.
2.       3Mbps of High-speed LTE service.
3.       I could still keep my SmartBro/HomeBro Canopy till I fully use the PLDT Ultera.

Just like everybody else the first thing that I did was to run a speed test.

Wow! I was impressed with 5.03 Mbps Download and 2.00Mbps Upload speeds the 270ms ping is acceptable since Bayantel was the speedtest server provider and it was automatically picked by Ookla based on location. I think I'm getting my money's worth since my speed is above 3Mbps.

Now here's the catch, (10GB Recommended usage for optimum speed ) according to PLDT Ultera service you need to maintain 10GB of data per month to keep on getting the 3Mbps speed. So let's compute the daily cap that's 10,000mb / 30 days, you get 333 mb/day. Once you reach the daily cap of 333Mb which is equivalent to an estimate 1 hour of youtube video at 480p or an hour of movie compressed by yify,  your speed may drop to 30%. So I let my kid watch his favorite videos(Pocoyo, Peppa Pig and Elmo's World) in Youtube till we reach the daily cap then I ran another speed test. 

So my 3Mbps connection is now capped to 30% of it's original speed, my internet connection has dropped to 1.08Mbps download and 0.83Mbps upload which I think is sufficient for watching 240p Youtube video streams.

Another fine print is minimum speeds of 256 kbps at 85% reliability. This is what bothers me because as a subscriber of  PLDT, SMART HomeBro uLTEra you can't have any privilege to complain about the speed since it is stated on the fine print. So I decided to test the connection further by letting my kid watch more videos in Youtube.

Congratulations!!! I got 256 kbps, a high speed internet way back year 2000.

For other PLDT Ultera plans like 1,599 (1,299 only if you upgrade from Smart Bro) you will get.
  1. Up to 5Mbps speed
  2. 15GB cap or  500MB / day, speed will be capped around 1.7Mbps
  3. Minimum speeds of 256 kbps at 85% reliability.
For PLDT Ultera plan 1,999 (1,699 only if you upgrade from Smart Bro) you will get.
  1. Up to 10Mbps speed
  2. 30GB cap or  1GB / day, speed will be capped around 3Mbps
  3. Minimum speeds of 256 kbps at 85% reliability. 
Also, you can get constant disconnections because the modem can't detect a signal, which can be resolved by power cycling the modem (removing the power cable at the back and connecting it back) .

Avoid this modem with Model ID : WLTFSR-115GN  ask your agent if you can get a modem with external antenna.


FROM comment 8/17/2014 @ 6:43AM and 8/17/2014 @ 7:25 PM: If this is a daily cap then try to use up the cap in the early morning then test the post cap speed in the morning.

I have read in tipid pc that the cap gets reset at 4:00am the next day so the screenshot above confirms it. Since my cap has been reset I should be getting the same speed all day given that I won't be hitting the 333mb/day cap.

So before going to sleep I played a Pocoyo video  playlist in Youtube which consists of 17 videos at 25 minutes each. Based on the screenshot above the test at 11:00AM shows that I have reached my daily cap.

As of this time 8/18/2014 at 11:00 AM I'm not yet capped so I'm getting a great speed. you can see that at 2:21 AM my cap has not yet been refreshed so this would be a good proof as well that the cap gets refreshed at 4:00 AM the next test was performed @ 8:14 AM and I was getting amazing results.


I downloaded Garena to check the ping from other players. The screenshot above is from Singapore room and the ping from other players are above 200 on the right side is a speed test for a server located in Malaysia.

Above is the USA room and the ping from other players is also above 200 on the right side is a speed test for a server located in San Francisco.

AS REQUESTED BY: ANON August 21, 2014 at 4:55 AM
I got 41ms with server from Makati City and on the left side you can see that my signal is 5 bars not bad because I have an indoor router/modem.

I can monitor if I'm capped by enabling the metered connection option in Windows 8 since it gives an estimated usage of your internet connection.

On the Home Bro Canopy I can monitor the status of capping from my Dlink-router which had a DD-WRT firmware. I can get as high as 4Gb utilization per day and not being capped for the day, but once I hit 30Gb the speed will go down to 256kbps.
Note: PLDT won't tell you how much the cap is for the PLDT Home Bro Canopy because they are marketing it as "UNLIMITED"  it looks though that the cap is 30Gb monthly.

If you want to change the SSID of the wireless network and its password, accessing the PLDT Ultera Settings is easy just follow the steps below;
  1. Connect to your modem using wired or wireless connection.
  2. Once connected, open up a browser then type
  3. On the log in page use:
  • USERNAME: homebro
  • PASSWORD: homebro
The recent trip to SM North Edsa PLDT customer service did not end out well because they can't process my request of cancelling the uLTEra also, going back to the Canopy is not an option as well because the Canopy has been fully terminated. Aside from that, PLDT customer service can't process my request of upgrading the connection to plan 1299 because the  product is new and they are not yet trained for it. According to the PLDT customer service the system does not allow upgrading at this time. I guess I'm trapped in this situation for the next 24 months.

  1. Don't believe the Field Sales Technician, they would tell you that you need to upgrade to Ultera because  the Canopy will be phased out  PLDT sent out SMS blasts to subscribers that Canopy will be phased out by 2016. I was not at home that time when the Field Sales Technician offered the upgrade to my wife (she's the account holder). Being worried about the Canopy phase out she had no choice but to say yes.
  2. Test and monitor your internet connection. If you are not satisfied immediately call *1888 and connect to customer service tell them that you want the Ultera cancelled and ask for a reference number. Don't believe the CSR rep if he/she will tell you that the Canopy will be retained because it will be deactivated within 5 days.  
  3. Within 24 hours immediately go to the nearest PLDT Customer Service office to inform them that you want the Ultera cancelled provide the  reference number from your phone call. Don't  forget to bring the latest bill and ID. If you are not the account holder you need to create an authorization letter.
  4. Act immediately because once a request for a Canopy disconnection has been processed you might have a hard time to revert back and your next bill will have a prorated charges for the Ultera. 
I'm saying goodbye to my work from home dreams for now because most of the ISP's in the Philippines has enabled capping on wireless networks which is pretty sad because, wireless networks should be an alternative for areas that are not accessible to wired networks. My next post will be a comparison of the speed test for uLTEra and Canopy.  
I tried to connect a SMARTBro LTE sim on my Ultera and it's working. I'll be creating a review about it and for a teaser, once you put in a SmarBro LTE Prepaid sim you will be redirected to the dashboard from there you can choose the Plan that you want like 50 pesos unlisurf,  this might be an alternate solution.
Click on the link below to see the comparison of capped uLTEra 999 vs Canopy  999

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

BPO companies that offers a retirement plan remain very difficult to find so, I decided to search how much SSS monthly benefit we will get in case we retire.  Retiring is something that should be planned, I think that the perfect scenario of a retired employee is, not being dependent on our children. Time seems to fly, that’s why I’m hoping by the time that we retire 30 years from now the Filipino value of taking care of our grandparents would still be intact, and our children will not send us to retirement homes (home for the agent).

I guess, behind our smiles this is how we really feel deep inside
after working in a call center for a long time.
Information below is from SSS website.

Who may qualify for a retirement benefit?
1. A member who is 60 years old, separated form employment or ceased to be self-employed, and has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement.
2. A member who is 65 years old whether employed or not and has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement.

How much monthly pension will a retiree receive?

The monthly pension depends on the members paid contributions, including the credited years of service (CYS) and the number of dependent minor children but not to exceed five. The amount of monthly pension will be the highest of:
1. the sum of P300 plus 20 percent of the average monthly salary credit plus 2 per cent of the average monthly salary credit for each accredited year of service (CYS) in excess of ten years; or
2. 40 per cent of the average monthly salary credit; or
3. P1,200, provided that the credited years of service (CYS) is at least 10 or more but less than 20 or P2,400, if the CYS is 20 or more. The monthly pension is paid for not less than 60 months.

Based on the items above there are 3 methods for computing the monthly pension. I assume that most of us earns 16000 pesos and above so I have set the default value to 16000 because this is the maximum salary credit well, who knows someday SSS might change its salary cap.

YearsMethod 1Method 2Method 3
Based on the table above if I retire after 30 years of service I'll be getting 9900 pesos monthly retirement benefit. If I retire after 19 years of service method 2 will be chosen since that computation is higher compared to method 1, so instead of 6380 I'll be getting 6400 pesos. Now that we know the estimated amount of our retirement pay the question is would it be sufficient enough by the time we need it?

You can check your estimated monthly retirement by changing the value of salary in the calculator below,  if your basic pay is not yet 16000 just double click the value beside the word salary or you can use the up and down buttons (desktop users) you can also adjust the years of service; it would automatically compute the estimated monthly retirement pay based on the three methods above and on the salary that you put in.

SSS Retirement Calculator

Salary: Php
Years of Service: Years

Note: The calculator above is based on our interpretation of the computation that was provided by SSS on their website. You may consult SSS directly for queries about retirement pay. The calculator also assumes that the average monthly salary credit is the same as the amount of salary that you have typed in. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Before joining the BPO industry, I receive my salary trough semi-monthly (15,30/31) payment, which appears to be a standard in the country.

When I started working for a call center company that offers a bi-weekly pay schedule (every other Friday), I was surprised that there were a lot benefits for this type of payroll.

Let me share the pros and cons of receiving Bi-Weekly salary. Pros and Cons of Bi-Weekly Salary

1. You will be paid 26 times a year compared to 24 times on semi-monthly payment.
2. It’s easy to manage your money since you wouldn’t have to wait for a specific date (15, 30) to receive your salary.
3. You can receive 3 paychecks in a month (May, October)  as seen from the bi-weekly pay calendar below.


1. Smaller amount of paycheck since the hours worked is fixed at 80 compared to semi-monthly payment which is greater than 80 work hours. 

Here’s the List of BPO Companies with Bi-Weekly Pay Period (Every other Friday).


Ingram Micro

Would you prefer a bi-weekly pay period over the normal 15/30,31 pay scheme?

The list above were gathered trough Facebook comments so some errors may occurs in case there's a correction please let us know via the comments section so that we can remove or add other companies.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Fortune Magazine has published its annual list of Fortune 500 companies measured by revenue. As what we did with our previous articles we have filtered the list to reflect companies with shared service or BPO operations in the country.
Being listed in the Fortune 500 could mean that the company has a large influence in the market and it may also show how its employees are treated trough compensation and benefits.

Check out the list below; it may not reflect other companies since Fortune 500 only list companies based in the United States. The list has also been extended to 1000 companies.

Working for a Fortune 500 or Forbes listed company may benefit individuals who jumps from one center to another since, less irate callers are encountered.

A Fortune 500 company on your resume maybe considered as an achievement because based on experience; laziness and lackluster performance are not tolerated. Working with these companies is a proof that you can work with the best since, the type of job would be more complex compared to a regular call center post.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Call centers located in Colombia, Mexico, and Philippines are on AT&T’s watch list due to data breach affecting almost 280,000 US customers. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has entered a $25 million settlement with AT&T Services, Inc. to resolve an investigation into consumer privacy violations at AT&T’s call centers located in the said countries. The fine  is FCC’s largest privacy and data security enforcement action to date.

The outcome of the said fine has started to take effect in call center companies. In Mexico, the incident has been investigated by the local authorities’ trough The Federal Institute for Information Access and Data Protection, or IFAI.

AT&T Stress Foam
source:  Title="you're a star! by Katy Warner, on Flickr

According to reports, a Mexican media said the theft in Mexico was carried out by three employees of Teleperformance, a provider of call center services to AT&T, IFAI said in a statement.
The Mexico City-based IFAI said it decided to launch a preliminary investigation due to potential non-compliance with Mexico's Federal Law on Protection of Personal Data.

The Philippine local authorities have not started any formal investigation of the issue. The country has enacted The Data Privacy Act or Republic Act 10173 last 2012 but the president has yet to make a National Privacy Commission that would regulate the data privacy policies under the law.

As a result of the fine we have heard reports that some AT&T accounts have been pulled out from different call center companies leaving hundreds of agents in floating status.  Some call center employees also stated they still have AT&T account with their company however they are also concerned of losing a job once AT&T’s contract has ended with their respective center.

Colombia may have the same fate of losing AT&T account because an AT&T spokesperson has wrote to Ars Technica with the following message “Protecting customer privacy is critical to us. We hold ourselves and our vendors to a high standard. Unfortunately, a few of our vendors did not meet that standard and we are terminating vendor sites as appropriate. We've changed our policies and strengthened our operations. And we have, or are, reaching out to affected customers to provide additional information.”

So the next time someone approached you if you are working for an AT&T account and being offered to look for customer information for a small fee; please think of honest call center employees who’s working real hard just to make ends meet.  Also, your company might follow the strict rule of implementing the "no cellphone rule on the floor policy" and monitoring your computer activities because of this incident.

To protect the call center industry the Philippine government should start implementing the National Privacy Commission, I think BPAP should also start implementing rules and guidelines as well if they don't have anything in place.

Has AT&T account been pulled in your center? Let us discuss via the comments section below.

Disclaimer: The articles or comments of any one on this site does not mean to represent the views or beliefs of the others – each opinion is unique and represents the opinion of the author and the readers. An opinion expressed by any contributor does not reflect the views of any organization, employer, or religious congregation that contributor may be associated with unless expressly stated.

Sources : Laprensasa and Ars Technica

Saturday, May 23, 2015

April is the tax month so we decided to check the latest news from BIR, what we found out is that the Bureau has released the list of “TOP 500 NON-INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYERS” which is updated as of March 6, 2015.

Based on BIR’s list Citibank NA emerged as the Top Taxpayer for companies with BPO services in the Philippines. Citibank NA placed 43rd on the list paying more than 839 million pesos. Citibank is followed by Accenture which placed 114; the company paid more than 309 million pesos.

Check out the list below;

RANKTINCompany NameIncome Tax Due Php
43000444734-000CITIBANK NA839,428,977.00
114000845543-000ACCENTURE, INC.309,489,217.64
177000594807-000DEUTSCHE REGIS PARTNERS, INC.195,427,301.00
256239952660-000JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A.-PHIL GLOBAL SERVICE CTR128,268,271.00
311005035491-000HSBC SAVINGS BANK (PHILIPPINES) INC102,370,743.00
364226444142-000HEWLETT-PACKARD AP (HONGKONG) LTD-PHIL ROHQ,8585,093,272.00
366000161142-000IBM PHILIPPINES INC84,759.647.00
498402051129-000TELETECH OFFSHORE INVESTMENTS B.V62,304,576.00

Based on the Citibank’s website the Philippine serves as a regional hub offering different types of services through;

• Citigroup Business Process Solutions, which provides Business Process Outsourcing, Customer Sales and Service, and other remote services to various Citi operations in the region and in North America;
• Citibank Regional Operating Headquarters, under which the following units operate: Citi Shared Services Asia, a global financial and management reporting center and global payment and employee services center supporting over 60 countries in Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa; Citi Technology Infrastructure; Citi Learning; Asia Pacific Analytics Center, Asia Pacific Credit Risk Management Services, and Centers of Excellence including compliance, expense management, transactional procurement, and events administration.

Two years ago Deutsche Knowledge Services Pte. Ltd rank first with P116.88 million in income tax paid followed by Accenture with P75.25 million in income tax paid. The other BPO firms and back offices in the country’s top 500 corporate taxpayers based on their 2011 revenues were: Sykes Asia Inc. (No. 343, tax paid at P61.91 million); Hewlett-Packard Asia-Pacific (Hong Kong) Ltd.-Regional Operating Headquarters (No. 354, P60.53 million); Citibank N.A.-Regional Operating Headquarters (No. 408, P49.37 million); and NCR Cebu Development Center Inc. (No. 465, P42.96 million).

Reviewing the list made me wonder why some of the Top BPO Companies were not included in the list however, this just confirms that the BPO Industry is one of the driving factors of the Philippine economy with a goal of 1.3 million jobs and $25 billion in revenues or 8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by next year.

The Top 10 Philippine Company Tax Payers are:

 3  SAN MIGUEL BREWERY INC. 4,879,126,836.00
 4  NESTLE PHILIPPINES INC 4,810,786,896.00
 5  CHEVRON MALAMPAYA LLC 4,516,541,678.00
 7  GLOBE TELECOM, INC. 4,002,879,260.00
 8  PMFTC INC 3,422,148,766.00
 9  CHEMWEALTH INC 2,908,993,296.00
10 SM PRIME HOLDINGS, INC. 2,777,117,395.00

In case you are also interested to see the top Individual Tax Payers check out the list below;

RankNameTax Due
1Pacquiao, Emmanuel Dapidran163,841,863.00
2Alcantara, Juanito Pornuevo99,612,000.00
3Mendoza, Estelito P73,185,375.00
4Chico, Reynaldo Jr Benoza67,340,888.00
5Tan, Andrew Lim67,184,002.00
6Tan, Lorenzo Villanueva60,894,276.00
7Alvarez, Jose Chavez55,627,417.00
8Azcona, Vivian Que51,617,174.69
9Reyes, Oscar Sison51,440,314.00
10Ayllon, Vicente Rafael Munoz50,088,841.00
11Soliman, Ronaldo Romero46,636,876.00
12Ang, Ramon See46,471,324.00
13Baja Jr., Lauro Liboon45,194,110.60
14Pascual, Piolo Jose Nonato42,533,158.00
15Cruz, John Lloyd Espidol41,976,592.00
16Aquino, Kristina Bernadette Cojuangco40,481,146.00
17Lopez, Federico Rufino39,899,018.00
18Angeles, Victor Manguera39,762,021.00
19Pangilinan, Sharon Cuneta39,049,235.00
20Revillame, Wilfredo Buendia38,305,824.00

source :

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Iphone has Siri and for Windows Phone users they have Cortana, both applications can work as our personal assistant.  Aside from assisting us in setting our alarm, sending an sms, or reminding us of the next important occasion; Siri and Cortana can also search the internet to provide valuable information for us like finding a restaurant or pulling up the stats of our favorite basketball player.

Now here’s another girl who's capabilities are way beyond than Siri and Cortana, meet Amelia a smart blonde girl, who works like a virtual employee she can reply to e-mail, answer phone calls, and she’s also intelligent enough to act like a human.  The question is can she replace call center employees? To answer that let’s take a closer look at Amelia’s feature and how she resolves a problem.

A brief description of Amelia based on IPSoft’s website says that “Amelia is the first artificially intelligent machine to understand, learn and empathize like a human. She speaks and reads 20 languages. She works day and night. And she is about to revolutionize both businesses and lives across the world.”

So How Does Amelia Work?

Based on the info graphic above she works like a typical call center employee since she listens, understand and clarifies then executes a process to solve the issue just like following a decision tree or knowledge base article.

If you’re a Tier II employee or an employee that resolves escalated issues, you may also hear from her because if she can’t resolve an issue she will escalate it to you. Now here’s the catch once she learns everything from you, your current position might not be safe as well so you are good to go.

Would She Find Her Way in the BPO Industry?

According to Accenture’s News Release the company is undertaking pilot projects for two clients to implement Amelia in operations.

 “The first pilot is with Baker Hughes, an oil field services company, while the other is Shell, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies. In both use cases, a cognitive agent will help support service delivery by learning through natural language interactions and documentation, as well as observing other agents’ live interactions in order to constantly improve on its abilities.”
I think once Amelia has been fully implemented in the BPO Industry some call center employees can now focus on handling more complex accounts because, we can say goodbye to accounts with repetitive tasks wherein the number of calls could go as high as 60 or more per day (don’t know the exact figure however there are accounts where an AHT could be 5 minutes or less?). Aside from that, we won’t be a labeled as people who read scripts since we would be tasked to do more complex jobs. Some of us are accountants, payroll experts, tax and legal analyst which could mean higher pay.

With the recent fraud issues involving call center employees from different parts of the world we might be giving Amelia a chance to take our jobs. She doesn't even complain if it’s queuing or not, she would happily work even if it’s raining cats and dogs outside, she won’t be affected by natural disaster as long as she’s up she would be willing to answer calls and emails. 

So what do you think about Amelia’s future would she fly on her own and start taking our jobs as soon as she learns from us or would she have the same fate like Amelia Earhart the female aviator who suddenly disappeared in the thin air? 

Check out the Video Below on What Amelia Can do:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Facebook page named Wag Ganyan PH voiced out its concerns against call center employees who were caught smoking beside a No Smoking sign. The photos were taken in front of SM Megamall where one of the largest BPO company is located; the photos reveal a lot of cigarette butts and used cups that was allegedly thrown by call center employees of Convergys.
Photo Screengrab from Wag Ganyan PH FBpage

Netizens have mixed reactions about the scenario;

Last December the attention of call center employees  has been called out by a netizen due to lack of discipline in terms of proper waste disposal.

To be fair, the behavior is not limited to call center employees, check out the photo below during the earth day run where plastic cups were thrown everywhere.

Let this be a reminder to us because according to the Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9211, Otherwise Known as the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 there are sanctions for violating the No Smoking policy.

How much is the penalty for violating the No Smoking Policy?
Penal Provision (Violations of Section 5 and 6 (Smoking Ban, Smoking, Non-Smoking Areas):
1st offense: Php 500 - Php 1,000; or 8-hour community service
2nd offense: Php 1,000 - Php 5,000; or 16-hour community service
3rd offense: Php 5,000 - Php 10,000 and cancellation/revocation of franchise or business permit.

Kudos the the company because based on one of the comments Convergys have provided designated smoking areas for its employees.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Philippines has strengthened its position as one of the top destination for BPO and Shared Services in the World. The country was ranked 3rd for 2014 and 2nd for 2015 up by one notch this was according to a report by US-based global real estate adviser Cushman & Wakefield entitled “Where in the World? Business Process Outsourcing and Shared Service Location Index 2015”.

The list may look surprising because India took the 20th spot however; the methods used in the rankings were based on the following factors:

1. Conditions 30 % – conditions like IT infrastructure, education and English proficiency.
2. Risk 20% – the risk factors include economic stability, political stability, corruption perception index, and energy security.
3. Costs 50 % - cost of labor, building costs, inflation, and property cost.

Below is the top 10 list, lower number is better.

Here's the full list.

AMERICASEl Salvador7363216
EMEALithuania1113019New Entrant
APACSri Lanka12273379
AMERICASChile14182116New Entrant
EMEASouth Africa1628231115
EMEACzech Republic171282113
AMERICASCosta Rica2131261719
EMEAUnited Kingdom27443028
APACAustralia2813529New Entrant
EMEASaudi Arabia30202528New Entrant
EMEASerbia31233426New Entrant
AMERICASUnited States32623231
EMEANetherlands342634New Entrant
EMEAFrance3510735New Entrant

With government support and better IT infrastructure Vietnam was able to climb on the top spot overtaking the Philippines. Based on the data the Philippines is attractive to BPO Investors because of its cheap labor and low property cost. 

Philippines could go for the top spot if the government would make a move to improve the IT infrastructure (internet connection) of the country because it’s one of worst in the world.  Based on the report by Netindex the Philippines has an average internet speed of 3.6Mbps which put us at the 176th place in the world and at 21st place when compared to other Asian countries.

According to BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) the BPO industry will overtake the remittances sent by OFW’s as the main source of dollar income within the decade. 

If the BPO Industry would be the leading source of dollar remittance, it may be the right for the government to create an organization that would protect the welfare of BPO employees. This is to ensure that call center companies would be in compliance with labor laws. The created agency may also provide assistance to employees who lost their jobs due to retrenchment or account pullout.  If you look at our list of cases filed against BPO companies, most of it are caused by illegal dismissal. 

Few years ago Vietnam trained in the Philippines to enhance their knowledge on rice farming. With proper government support, the end result was clear; we are now importing rice from Vietnam. I hope that the BPO Industry would not suffer the same fate same as the rice industry, where lack of local talents and less government support may prompt BPO companies to outsource the jobs elsewhere.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Still single? Check out the call center pickup lines that we got online and maybe you would be able to score a date by Monday.

Pickup line about headset.

For the metrics where the targets keeps on getting higher and higher until it becomes unattainable.

I'm sure 90's kids and below would relate. 

Call Center Virgins will understand. 

 Aircon moves.

Because it's difficult to find a TL during escalation. 

Not all pickup lines are cheezy in nature there are pickup lines that trolls the other person.

If you have something to add please let us know via the comments section. 

After the Princess Sarah Memes craze here comes the new trend in Social Media and it’s the “Minsan Ikaw Memes”. Here’s a list of Minsan Ikaw memes that call center employees can relate to.

1. For your immortal colleague that speaks loud while talking to the customer.

2. To your colleague who jumps up and down of the queue.

3. For your colleague who looks for a 'walk' and loves to be 'walked'.

4. Another one for your colleague who get's "disconnected" a lot.

 5. It's a good shift if you will be able to log out on time. 

6. For your colleague who keeps on sharing stories about his/her ex for the nth time. 

7. For your colleague who keeps on asking the same question but doesn't follow your suggestion. 

In case you missed some of the original "Minsan Ikaw" Memes we have decided to get some of the best from Gio Miniano's Page 

So which one is your favorite? If you have something to add please let us know via the comments section. 

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